Online Poker Pro: Joe Sebok – The Cub, Seventhbok

joe-sebok-123x92Player Profile: Joe Sebok

Name: Joe Sebok
Handle: The Cub, and Seventhbok (to his enemies only)
Age: 32 (2009)
Gender: Male
Country: USA

You would think that growing up as the adopted son of Barry Greenstein would have a lot to do with Joe Sebok being the exceptional level of poker player that he is. You would imagine childhood games and father-son coaching sessions. You would be wrong.

Despite growing up in the household of a notorious pro poker player, Sebok didn’t pick the poker bug up from his stepfather: in fact, Greenstein didn’t bring the game home at all, preferring to keep work and home separate. Instead, Sebok picked up his competitive streak on the sports field.

The Bursting Bubble

A smart kid, Sebok managed to get into Berkley and left with a degree in Psychology. He entered the job market at the time of the Dot Com Boom, which did not treat him well. Despite showing natural talent, the bubble burst almost as fast as it had inflated.

At this point he sought the advice of his adoptive father, who agreed that with hard work and practise he might become a good poker player. Coming from a dot com background, Sebok naturally began his education online. Playing freeroll after freeroll, he eventually felt confident enough to try live poker, and moved on to playing low blind $2/$4 and $3/$6 tables at the Lucky Chances Casino in Frisco. In his first ever live tournament at this casino, he came third.

From there, success was inevitable. He began playing more tournaments, and winning them. He accumulated enough of a bankroll that he could start thinking about taking on much larger events, and in 2005 he descended on the World Series of Poker. The impact was felt around the world.

First WSOP Showing

In his first ever WSOP series, he made two final tables. This level of success is almost unheard of. He came 5th in Event 20 (Pot Limit Hold’em) and 8th in Event 28 (Limit Hold’em), for a combined cash of almost $110,000. He also cashed in Event 37 (No Limit Hold’em), though less well.

This was the start of an exceptional career. In 2006 Sebok won his first major tournament, cashing in first place at the Mirage Poker Showdown, a $1,500 buy in event from which he collected $150,165. For the year in total, he played 13 other major poker tournament series, including the Borgata Winter Open, the Bellagio Cup, The Ultimate Bet Aruba Classic and of course The World Series of Poker. Of these 14 tournament appearances, he reached the final table 5 times, and won 3 of them.

Sebok’s commitment to the grind continued throughout 2007 and 2008, where he continued to make appearances at the World Poker Tour and World Series of Poker. It was during this period that he earned the nickname of Seventhbok, coined by his frenemies because he has twice been knocked out of the World Poker Tour final table in 7th place.

A Promising Career

Although Sebok is still chasing a WSOP win, he continues to play consistently well and earns exceptionally good money. In the four years he has been playing professional poker, he has 44 cashes to show for himself. His total tournament earnings for the last 4 years are in the order of $2 million.

When he’s not playing poker, Sebok likes to drum in a rock band.